The other day, I pulled threads and beads for an embroidery project I have a mind to do.
It’s a project I want to savor. And although I won’t be starting it right away (still finishing up some Christmas stuff!), once I do start, it’s going to be one of those no-pressure projects. I’m going to take it slow and easy and really enjoy the heck out of it!
I’ve been itching to stitch one ever since I clapped eyes on Elisabetta’s samples! I couldn’t resist pulling threads and other delectables for it the other day. I felt a little sneaky because I had other things to do, but you know how it is when a project is stewing in your head and you just can’t resist its siren call!
For my version, I’ll be mixing up some silk threads, specialty threads, and beads. Once I start on it, I’ll keep you updated on my progress, I’ll share tips and discoveries along the way, and I’ll let you know what choices I make along the way as far as materials go. If you want to follow along when I get to that point, you’ll need your own copy of the book (of course). I won’t be sharing Elisabetta’s patterns, her interpretations of elements into stitches, or anything like that. Just my journey, which you’re welcome to join me on when I finally head out!
You might recognize some of the colors I’m starting out with, since I made heavy use of them in this project, Jacobean Sea, earlier this year.
I still plan to fill this color selection out a little. I need some very dark green-blues, and I might even touch into some true blues for a bit of skyish brightness.
When I pull materials for a project, I always pull an excess of threads and colors. There’s no way in the world I will use them all (!), so as I go, I narrow down the choices that work best for what I have in mind.
This is one of the reasons I don’t start my project explorations by publishing a materials list.
Could you imagine? “I’m using all of these threads….” followed by a gazillion color numbers of silks. If any of you jumped on the wagon at the beginning with a list like that, you’d be investing heavily in so many colors we’d never actually use! And you would probably be very angry with me!
So I pull the colors I like, I start working, and I make decisions as I go. I might pull in some new colors, trade out others, try one and love it, try another and hate it — whatever the case, you can be sure the thread list I start with is never the thread list I end with!
Unlike Jacobean Sea, on this monogram, I want to pull in some rusts and reds. I don’t know if the red on the left will do it – at this point, it’s just lingering there as a shady possibility.
For fabric, you probably won’t be too surprised if linen is my choice. I expect it will be a natural colored linen or a sandy colored linen, and I might even go for something a little rougher than usual. I don’t want to stress the threads, but I kind of like the idea of a linen that’s got a little grit to it. I think the contrast between a rougher linen and some glorious silk would be interesting on something that’s sandy in theme.
We shall see!
Speaking of grit, I plan to bring beads into the picture. No surprise.
The delicas (the tiny tube-shaped glass beads) you see in the photo above are a really nice mix of sandy colors that I like a lot. However, I’d rather find the same mix (or very similar) in 15/0 round seed beads, rather than in delicas. Another “we’ll see.” There will definitely be some beads. I have a picture in my head, and it requires beads.
Pearls? Yes. I imagine these in contrast to the Palestrina stitch that Elisabetta makes use of abundantly in the monograms. I love Palestrina stitch, and I love the texture it brings to the monograms. It is reminiscent of rope, with a bit of knottiness about it. Definitely sea-ish in this design set.
The pearls, as I envision it, will play opposite to that look, and they’ll conjure up further visions of the sea’s treasures.
Speaking of rope, silk-wrapped purl is an exquisite thread that will work well for adding texture. I plan a little stretching and couching with this.
A thread like this can be so exciting – it’s always play time, once the specialty threads and beads make an appearance.
So that’s that! It was a lovely indulgence, selecting threads and in imagining my interpretation for the monograms in A Sea to Stitch. I’m setting these aside now like a good girl, until I finish up a few looming projects that must be completed in the next few weeks. Then, as things wind down for the year, I plan to treat myself to this project. I can’t wait! This is going to be a great carrot!
A Sea to Stitch
If you want to pick up a copy of A Sea to Stitch, now would be a great time since I have in them in stock at the moment. They arrived from Italy just night before last, and they’re all packaged and ready to ship domestic priority mail.
It’s a grand book, and if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, it will surely be your winter escape! (And who doesn’t need a little escape right now?)
And now, alas, play time is over. It’s back to the grindstone! I’m writing some project instructions for you, and I hope to have them ready before Thanksgiving weekend. I’ll be hugging a teapot and plunking away at my keyboard until they’re finished! Wish me luck!